Bogey Time

The world of golf braces for a tough year as corporate sponsors tighten their belts and golfers cut costs

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"People who are looking to spend their money have to be very critical," says Miele. "The fact we support local charities, I hope that is the tipping point for funds to come our way as opposed to another entertainment venue. That's what sets the PGA Tour apart and always has. I know for a fact that companies look at us differently because the money is going to local charities."

The question is, how much green is there to go around, anyway? How much money is there to continue to support clubs, public fee courses, golf travel and golf equipment sales? Fay chooses not to take a grim view of the situation, even displaying a bit of dark humor.

"You think that there will be courses that will be plowed under, and some might be," says Fay. "But given the situation in the construction-development industry, that's probably not going to happen. Somehow courses will keep going, some private ones going public, some merging operations. People are going to still play golf."

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